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On 20th August 2018 we successfully raised £200 with 8 supporters in 28 days

Bolder not Older - a dance programme for adults 65+

by Rosie Whitney-Fish in London, England, United Kingdom

Bolder not Older - is a free programme improving health, wellbeing of adults 55+ in West London. The programme offers dance classes,  a performance company and regular tea dances. 

Bolder not Older Dance Classes: Delivered directly into care homes, day centres and sheltered accommodation. The programme reaches 300 vulnerable adults 65+  a week and is: 

  • Free for the adults to participate in
  • Delivered by an experienced team
  • Provides a weekly exercise and social activity 
  • Supports fragile, vulnerable adults who are isolated with a social activity. 

Bolder not Older Dance Company: Provides active older adults with the chance to perform and work alongside award winning choreographers. The company celebrates the artistic integrity of older dancers and challenges preconceptions of what it means to be older.  We have 20 company members and the Company offers a creative outlet for adults 55+ , weekend intensives and works towards a high profile performances and events. 

Tea Dances: bringing together the adults across the whole programme of classes, the company and across the borough as part of Silver Sunday, a national day for older people.

The Need: Hammersmith & Fulham is home to over 19,200 residents aged 65 and over. 53% of residents have a mental health or physical health condition and 38% are lone pensioner households. Bolder not Older was launched  by DanceWest in 2015 to address of the absence of local, affordable dance activity aimed at supporting health and wellbeing of adults 65+.

With your help we can: 

  • Offer dance activity to 120 vulnerable older people 
  • Deliver 30 dance classes
  • Work with people at 3 different centres in Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Produce a Tea Dance event at Hammersmith Town Hall. 

Why dance? Adults 65+ spend on average 10 hours each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group. BNO provides weekly physical dance classes that are free to attend, the classes enable older adults to exercise, stay healthy, and physically active.

Our classes provide suitable dance activity that enables older people to age well and stay healthy, mobile, and confident.  

  • Improving ‘balance confidence’ reducing the risk of falls
  • Improving strength and cardiovascular endurance
  • Improving movement retention, coordination and reaction time
  • Improving body awareness, physical alignment and posture

Outcomes: In Hammersmith & Fulham falls are the most frequent and serious type of accident in people aged 65 plus. There is a need to engage adults in exercise to prevent falls.  Falls are the leading cause of death in people aged over 75 in the UK. Injuries from falls such as hip fractures cost the NHS an estimated £1.7billion a year.   BNO Classes help prevent falls by building strength, balance and confidence. 

Bolder Not Older participants report their well-being as ‘much improved’ (75%) and improved ‘a large amount’ (25%). 90% Participants report they enjoy meeting others and sharing the experience with each other. 

What our Bolder not Older dancers say: 

  • These classes are a real depression buster! -Jean, Sycamore 
  • Makes us feel more alive! - Frank, St Charles
  • The staff are good, we have a laugh. I’ve met a lot of people here who I get on with - my dancing buddy. If I didn’t like it, you wouldn’t see me here. - Mary, Age UK
  • The dancing, music and people are wonderful. - Jenny, St Charles
  • It is very helpful for my knees and helped improve my arm movements a lot. - Sybil, Sycamore
  • I really enjoy the classes, it’s something I look forward to. -Erma, St Charles

DanceWest - West London's Community Dance Organisation 

DanceWest - engages people of all ages and abilities in high quality dance activity, improve the mental and physical health and wellbeing of all people through dance. We believe that dance enriches lives and is the catalyst for positive change in our community. Dance has the power to change everyone’s lives and we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to access it. Based at the Lyric Hammersmith we are a non-profit organisation founded in 2015 by Choreographer Rosie Whitney-Fish. 

Read about Bolder not Older in London Live: www.londonlive.co.uk/pages/2016-07-28/west-london

Watch our short films on Bolder not Older here: http://www.dancewest.co.uk/bolder-not-older 

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